Have room to bring the clubs along? If so, don't pass up an opportunity to hit the links when you're in Las Vegas. If you can get a tee time, Las Vegas National Golf Club ranks high on our list of places to play.
A rather challenging alternative to traditional, bent grass greens courses, the 27-hole facility at Badlands Golf Club is a true desert course. Designed by Johnny Miller and Chi Chi Rodriguez, this esteemed club features three nine-hole courses: Desperado, Diablo and The Outlaw. The original stretch offers a challenging target golf experience, while the newer links are a lot wider, funneling shots back to the fairway. Rental clubs are available.
Located only minutes from The Strip, this Vegas favorite promises an 18-hole adventure for experts and novices alike. Lined by mature pine trees, the Dye-designed course boasts pristine bent grass greens and four sparkling lakes. The two-tiered, climate-controlled Practice Center features an automatic ball delivery system and 56 hitting stations, all of which are covered from rain and direct sunlight. Facilities also include a golf shop and clubhouse.
Designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer, Angel Park Golf Club's clever layout offers a satisfying challenge for players of all skill levels. Nearly 3,000 feet in elevation, the 36 holes afford stunning vistas of both Red Rock Canyon and the Las Vegas Valley. Plus, players can brush up on their skills at the natural grass putting green or lighted Cloud Nine Short Course, which features 12 holes inspired by famous courses from around the world.
Even though it's classified as a resort course, this scenic parcel is only available to guests of the Rio Secco Hotel. Occasional fairway bunkers keep you honest on extremely generous fairways, and green side bunkers collect most miss-hits. Situated at the foot of Black Mountain, the course presents breaks on greens that can baffle even the best putters. Several natural wash areas and changes in elevation sometimes challenge your game, but they always provide breathtaking views.
Even though this course is located in the desert, don't be surprised to find lush rolling fairways with densely wooded areas, winding streams, and cascading waterfalls. Tee shot accuracy is not the main concern because the generous fairways tend to slope back towards the center. Golfers will quickly realize the true test comes on the well mounded greens that are extremely fast and demanding.
True to its name, this course features narrow fairways lined by natural areas with rocks, boulders, plants, trees, and believe it or not, a few cacti. Little water comes into play but the natural desert setting provides plenty of trouble. In addition, the greens are well protected by a number of bunkers.
Aggressive play can be costly on Pete Dye's Sun, Snow and Wolf golf course creations. Las Vegas Paiute has three public golf courses within the resort. With over 200 bunkers scattered through, a number of dogleg fairways, and keeping it out of the water on these desert courses comes into play on several occasions on each fairway. The challenging courses are even tougher than they look. The scenery is out of this world, with holes winding through the Paiute Indian Reservation. Fast greens and sloping hills will make these long holes play even longer and the hilly terrain will cause severely uneven lies. The beauty of the Sun, Snow and Wolf courses brings golfers back again and again.
TPC Las Vegas is the only public PGA tour facility course in Las Vegas. The Bobby Weed and Raymond Floyd layout provides the ultimate in Las Vegas golf for players of all skill levels. The course features generous fairways, moderately undulating greens, and unmatched beauty. Other perks: mature trees, changes in elevation, spectacular views of The Canyons, and over 60 tee boxes to choose from.
Standing on these tees, you know you're facing a true desert course. Natural areas with cacti and native plants separate tees from fairways and border most of the plush fairways as well. Water hazards pinch several landing areas and guard a number of the greens. Smart play is rewarded on the beautiful course if you can stay away from grass bunkers off the tee and sand bunkers greenside.
With several lengthy par-4's and extremely challenging par-3's, long iron play will be tested on this demanding course. These immaculate fairways are often bordered by a number of trees. However, the wind will cause problems even when the trees are not around. The greens are guarded by a number of bunkers and multiple water hazards, and you should play the ball low and under the wind to avoid the trouble.